A fun card to watch! Worth paying the PPV in my opinion. Two titles on the line and both defended. The fights leading up to the main event also were exciting and good watches. Below I break down my thoughts behind each fight and talk about the highlights!
Almeida vs Font
Exciting fight. Everyone had Almeida winning and out striking Font. But Font had way more strikes and landed more significant. He landed the takedown and a big right hand that ended up putting Thomas down. After rocking him a couple times, Almeida was clearly hurt and Font pounced. Ended up with a shocking but outstanding TKO in the second round. Representing his home town in Boston and got a huge rise. I felt it set a great standard for the night. An awesome upset that rattled everyone in the room with me! Font proved me very wrong and put himself on my and the UFC’s radar again.
Villante vs Barroso
The more boring fight of the night. Barroso really didn’t have an answer to Gian’s constant pressure and power swings. They both landed about the same amount of strikes, but Villante was clearly the aggressor and threw more punches and got the decision. Villante seemed one dimensional with his straight pressure and set up to his over right or uppercut. I was surprised there was no takedown with Barroso have a Jiu Jitsu background and always having his back near the cage. Villante seemed like a guy from Jersey ready to throw down, and was easy to watch because you expected something to land. Looking back, it wasn’t avery exciting fight to watch and the highlights were straight right/lefts that landed but never followed up. Barroso never gave himself a chance. After hearing Villante’s post fight speech I’m looking forward to watching him drop bombs and put on more shows with people that will test him. The fight went exactly as predicted and got me my first correct selection of the night.
Kattar vs Burgos
I was clearly rooting for Burgos the New York man. I liked his story and rise into the ranks with his undefeated MMA record. But Kattar was having none of it. He fought so effectively and intelligently in transitions. Burgos was going for the heavy strikes and Kattar kept working a high rate to pop jabs and straight right then get out. Burgos could barely touch him, but his forward pressure and significant strikes stood out. Shane clearly packed more power, but Kattar was precise with his striking. You would’ve thought Kattar looked more efficient with his fewer strikes but looking back at the stats he threw almost as many as Burgos. Burgos seemed to look tired after swinging hard for two rounds and then Calvin’s work rate outlasted Shane in the 3rd round. He landed a significant crack early in the 3rd to hurt him. Calvin landed three more precise jaw punches to put Shane away and earn his TKO. It was a great bounce back for Calvin and tough debut for Shane on the main card. They put on a show and expect to see Kattar’s stock move up after looking that sharp and active. A fun fight but another I got wrong!
Cormier vs Oezdemir
The champion rose again. Daniel is consistently one of the best fighters the UFC has ever had. He dominated this fight and showed how there truly were levels to this shit. He ate a couple punches early and had me nervous. I 100% thought he would win this fight before it started, but once it began and he ate a couple punches a distance I got a little rattled. He took them with grace though and started to land his own strikes as well. Eventually it ended on the ground and he destroyed Volkan. He didn’t stand a chance when he hit the floor. Cormier overwhelmed him with strikes and could’ve put hima way in the first if he had ten more seconds. Came out in the second and mauled him. Suffocated him, went for the crucifix and ground and pounded him into TKO. As a former wrestler it was a ton of fun to watch. We all got so excited to see him dominate again at such an old age. The weight cut clearly played a role in his body form/shape but he still came out and showed who the (CLEAN) champ is! That was an easy pick to make. Team AKA had to feel great about hat. And his post fight speech was outstanding!
Miocic vs Ngannou
We all know the story by now. Stipe ate some punches and stood through the test, opened up his own striking and eventually took it to the ground. Franic wasn’t prepared for anything but one round of striking. Stipe wrestled him into submission. Suffocated him constantly and made him carry his weight. Literally didn’t have an answer for defense or to find a way to stand up. Miocic showed who the baddest man on the panet is and deserved to break the record. So cool that he is all a badass firefighter who came out and took on the scariest man alive. Luckily I got his right in my prediction and came out 3-2 on the main card. I love Stipe and his style. He looked worse for ware after the fight, but dominated everything after the first. Outstanding to see the underdog champ deal with such a scary task through a wrestling plan. That running double leg was crazy and we were screaming the whole fight. Francis throws some of the scariest punches ever seen. Stipe out struck him and over doubled his work rate. Francis coudln’t get a thing off in the fourth rund. That was the difference. Stipe was conditioned and had a champion’s plan. I’m excited to see Ngannou hit the mat and learn some defense and technique. He’ll be back and scarier than ever, I’m sure. But here is only one thing that matters now — AND STILLLLLLLL!